#30 Grado – Gianni’s fish

In Grado I met another special guy. Gianni Maran  is a staggering, profound, all-round artist who never takes himself too seriously (take a look at his website). But above all he’s a friend, capable of an extraordinary welcome to a perfect stranger like me who calls him from the sea only a few hours before arriving.

And then it becomes evident, once again, that in the North (this is the northernmost point of my journey) as well as in the South (well, I let you guess what the most southern point I have touched is), islands are the places of hospitality. Forever and ever.

 


Posted on: 21.Aug.2018   Leave a comment

#28 Gallipoli – Departure

In Ortigia as well as in Gallipoli the natives use the word “rock” to indicate their island, just like the people from all the remote islands I have been so far do.

That said, Gallipoli, which in Greek means “beautiful city”, is an insanely beautiful place. A city that for at least 300 years ago was the equivalent of Dubai today for the almost monopoly throughout Europe of glaring oil (the one used for lighting), which lit the streets from London to Oslo. And since the boundaries of the island are unchangeable, and building beyond the short bridge was banned until a hundred years ago, up to 34 underground mills were digged where oil was produced. 34! Another fact: in Gallipoli there are no squares, you could not waste the little existing space! And finally in Gallipoli they don’t traditionally dance the “pizzica”, which represents the countryside essence of Salento, Gallipoli’s region: they preferred Neapolitan style songs sort of.

I met unforgettable and particularly enriching people here. The Circolo della Vela Gallipoli (Gallipoli Sailing Club), to start with, namely Massimoand Glauco, who took care of Maribelle and made me feel like a real sailor (which I am not).

Then the meeting with two special guys, Enrico and Renato of the Association EMYS, who gave life to a magical place struggling against monstruos touristic interests: the urban laboratory Liberalarte Gallipoli. In a former monastic cloister, hidden behind a door on the ramparts of the city, lies a container of art, crafts, innovation and tradition where you can visit an exhibition of tactile paintings (i.e. you are invited to touch them!), you can dive among whales and turtles with virtual reality glasses (the kids’ favorite) or listen to the sounds associated with the thousand traditions of the town organized according to the four seasons.

And then the incredible, volcanic and sweet Raffaela, an architect born in Milan but with blood from here, cultural manager of Castello di Gallipoli(Gallipoli’s Castle). Another incredible place that until 2014 was nothing less than a dump and that thanks to Raffaela and her collaborators has become the cultural pole of the city, with exhibitions (riht now a very clever one about selfies called #selfati) and events (yoga sessions, thematic nights, concerts) that stubbornly try to bring tourists, whose cultural level is here unfortunately quite low (Gallipoli in recent years has become the Italian Ibiza), to the world of culture .

In a few islands, indeed, I have found such an attachment to the “rock”, its traditions and its identity as I did in Gallipoli.

It’s even harder this morning to leave this place which already a huge place in my heart for past personal facts. In addition, in front of me stands (or should I say lies) the longest leg, until Tremiti islands: the forecast states very little and always opposite winds and extreme heat; besides, I will enter yet another sea, the Adriatic Sea, different, unique. With the shadow of Venice that looms from the North, the historical shadow of the former almighty marine empire and the personal shadow it being the arrival island of this crazy journey of mine…

 


Posted on: 6.Aug.2018   Leave a comment

#9 Capri – Contemporary art

Liquid art system: the contemporary art gallery in Capri owned by Franco Senesi. A fascinating man trying to feed the huge cultural heritage of the island, perhaps the greatest among all the minor islands in Italy, and for sure the one who has almost always been at the top since the ancient Greek era.

 

Posted on: 11.May.2018   Leave a comment

Island People – Lipari – Loredana Salzano

This time, I really don’t know where to begin. Loredana is crazy!!! She answered enthusiastically as I contacted her for 33 Isole, and she guaranteed an authentic Lipari experience upon my arrival. I will go mad trying to keep her pace!

Look how she describes herself:
Multifaceted artist with a volcanic talent, she was born under the Vesuvius and moved to Lipari, where she has been living for over 10 years and owns a gallery/shop. Creative at 360°, she realizes material canvases, dreamlike watercolors, artistic ceramics, informal paintings, sculptures and jewelry with materials recovered especially from the sea.
She writes poetry and publishes a collection of poems entitled “Feral Islands.” Volcanoes are her main source of inspiration (hence the name “Our Volcanoes’ Lady”) leading to an ironic-poetic mix, suspended between art, thought and design.
From engaged canvases or extremely contemporary conceptual installations, she switches with the same enthusiasm to easy, funny, and original design pieces, centered around the theme Alice Attònita, that is, *”the only primordial Alice with contemporary troubles”, a character/message that becomes the expression of the human dichotomy between contemporariness and need to return to a “wonderfully simple” life.

Loreda’, I’m coming!

Posted on: 20.Jan.2018   Leave a comment